Maryland Bass Fishing Spots

Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River

Fishing a Weedless Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River
Fishing a Weedless Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River

We talk to a Potomac River angler who goes by BassNVlog on all of his social media channels. This guy knows how to catch big largemouth bass. We go into detail about one of his new favorite techniques, fishing a weedless Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River for largemouth bass.

How long have you been fishing the Potomac River for largemouth bass?

I have been fishing the Potomac River for about 11 months now. The best part about this fishery is that it is tidal. It can also be the worst part about it if you are not on your game. The fish bite throughout the day with the swings in tides. It makes it a challenging fishery for those who have never fished tidal waters. Growing up in Florida and fishing inshore saltwater has given me an advantage on this river. 

Coming to the DC area and knowing that the Potomac was a fabled bass fishery I studied the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour YouTube videos of the river. Two quotes stood out to me, “You have to find something to have to yourself.” and “Rotation is key”.  

The Potomac is a community hole fishery. Places like Belmont Bay and Piscataway Creek have large grass flats that can be the size of 3 football fields and hold 40 boats at a time. It’s the Time Square of Bass fishing.

I am not a fan of this type of fishing. I feel like it takes away from the challenges of patterning these fish. If you come from a body of water in which it is considered a sin to pull up a 100 feet away from another boat and start fishing, the Potomac River is going to test your nerves. When it happens to me, I usually tell my co-anglers that I have seen people have their boats nearly pirated for stunts like that on Toledo Bend Reservoir. Even with these challenges the Potomac River is my second favorite fishery just behind Lake Okeechobee.

When did you start fishing the Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River?

I started in the winter of 2017/2018. I began fishing the 2.5 inch Z-Man TRD and had some success that really woke me up to the technique. I like to pattern fish, technique fish and spot fish. I try everything and if it works I won’t put it down.

The Ned Rig 4 inch weedless was a must when the grass started to come back. I started fishing with the standard open hook setup and it was okay when the water was colder 38 to 55 degrees. Grass isn’t growing at that point so you can get away with more.

I knew I wanted to keep this technique alive during the warmer months when the grass came back. The problem was, a weedless Ned rig hook is a rare commodity in the fishing market. It just didn’t seem like there were many options out there. I was lucky enough to be able to contact a gentleman by the name of Dustin Karns who made weedless Ned rig hooks out of his garage. Since then I believe he has given production to Venom Lures. 

Big Potomac River Largemouth Caught on the Z-Man Big TRD by BassNVLog
Big Potomac River Largemouth Caught on the Z-Man Big TRD by BassNVLog

You said recently that it has replaced the Texas Rig and Shakey Head…for now. Why do you say this?

I believe that the Ned Rig just make the fish a little more excited. It’s action, the fall of the stick bait and how it stands up imitates a small baitfish feeding on the bottom.

What structure/vegetation are your key targets for the Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River?

Any type of rock or hard cover is where the Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River excels. I believe it excels here because the bait doesn’t have much of a chance of getting hung up. No weeds are restricting its natural movement, so it becomes more life-like.

Does tide factor into when you throw the Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River?

It usually doesn’t. Sometimes I change techniques to replicate the type of bait fish that are affected by changing tides. If anything I’d change color.

What colors are you using for the Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River?

For the Potomac River there are basically 3 natural colors I use to imitate the bait fish forage. First and foremost Shad colored whether it be sexy shad or white shad. The second fish to imitate is blue gill, black, blue, purple. Lastly, a perch color green/orange.

They will all work in a rotation but narrowing down what season you are in helps the cause dramatically. These three fish have different times in which they spawn. The bass will focus more on each species as they become more vulnerable. You also have to take into account the period of time in which the shad have their yearly periods in which they die-off in mass quantities due to water temperature.

If we get into the subject of unnatural colors. There are two that I use religiously in different situations. We typically get some pretty decent rains throughout the year in the northern Virginia/Maryland/DC area. The Potomac River is a shallow body of water, especially at low tides. These two elements combined together make for some extremely dirty water.

A lot of fisherman are intimidated by the poor water clarity. Luckily I have had the privilege to be stationed in Louisiana where we had bodies of water like the Red River which is known to be dirty. I learned quick how well a bright red “craw” colored crankbait, Or a chartreuse color can immediately improve your odds of catching a decent limit. So if you are having any water clarity issues, try these two colors.

What specific Venom jighead are you using for rigging the Z-Man Big TRD weedlesss?

The Venom Lures DK-jig head is ideal for weedless applications. I haven’t bought them from Venom Lures. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to make contact with their designer, Dustin Karns. After we discussed some marketing ideas and promoted the hooks, he was kind enough to send me a good quantity of them. 

What setup are you throwing the TRD on?

I use a spinning combos, either 6 1/2 or 7 feet. I use 10 to 15 pound fluorocarbon.

What are the keys to working the Z-Man Big TRD effectively on the Potomac River?

The bait will work itself. Have patience. Pitch it into your “High Probability” areas. Let the floating Z-man TRD stand up on its own. Fish it slow…you won’t regret it.

Beside the TRD, what do you consider some of your other favorite baits on the Potomac River?

  • Chatterbait
  • XD3 Square Bill
  • Lipless Red Eye Shad
  • Senko (any variation of Green Pumpkin)
  • Hollowed Body Frog
  • Flipping/Swim Jig (Black and Blue
  • Drop Shot with a 4 to 5 inch Trick or Roboworm
Learn More at the BassNVlog YouTube Channel
Learn More at the BassNVlog YouTube Channel

What is up next for your YouTube channel?

I am at a crossroads with YouTube. I started strong. With my family life and my career, it has become a challenge to make and produce videos as often as I’d like. Also, the production of fishing videos takes a lot of focus away from my fishing. Sometimes I’d rather enjoy just figuring out the fish and catching them. I’d appreciate some feedback from anyone who can aid me in the decision to keep going.

Do you have any pro staff companies?

I am an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army. I belong to the Army Bass Angler Organization. I am also prostaff for a veteran’s benefit organization called “The Fallen Outdoors”. Basically, we just try to get veterans as active duty military in the outdoors by any means possible. It’s nice to belong to these organizations. There are certain discounts that are provided. Fishing is an expensive sport/hobby, any money I can save is beneficial.

Thank you BassNVlog for the info on fishing the Z-Man Big TRD on the Potomac River. More importantly, thank you for your service! Will be following on Instagram and YouTube.